Bennet, Kaleb and Kali have been home with us now for two months. Isn't that amazing?! Can you believe from the very first time I laid eyes on their picture to right now, it's only been 7 1/2 months. That's just really crazy. And ya know what, it's actually pretty "normal" already, whatever that is. LOL
The kids are doing great in school and their English is fantastic. Bennet already spoke really good English when she got here, but she is understanding better now. Kaleb and Kali only spoke a tiny bit of English when they got here, but they are all over it now. They rarely speak Amharic at all anymore, which I know some people will think is sad, but to us, it just shows how happy they are here and how much they are loving being a part of things the way our family does them. We never have any instances anymore where we need Bennet to speak Amharic to them to make sure they understand -- they get it. (:
Gatlin and Bennet are doing SO much better. We definitely have moments of sibling rivalry, but it is much fewer and farther between. Praise God. It's an interesting thing to see how much more grace and compassion a teenage girl has for an orphan BEFORE they are living in their house, sharing their room, and often, being a bit of a pill bug. LOL
And, it's an interesting thing to watch an orphan come into a new house and be very purposefully mean to someone who they so desperately wanted to become sisters with. There were some pretty rough days between the two girls and we had to take things away (iPod, Bennet and computer/phone, Gatlin) and force the girls to really stop and think about how Jesus would want them to treat each other. So funny, cause they are SO much alike. We now call them twins - the black and white twins. They laugh about this now, but, for a couple weeks, there wasn't much laughing between them. I share this with you to let you know that it hasn't just been smooth sailing around here. I just don't want anyone to get a false impression. The transition can be difficult. Ours has had difficult, challenging moments, but we have been triumphant, by the grace of God!
If you were to come over right now, we just have a normal, 5 kid, house going on. It's a little chaotic, a little messy, there's some laundry that isn't put away (speaking of laundry, I really do think that has been the biggest adjustment -- it's just never-ending!!) I know that all siblings argue. All 6-year-olds fuss sometimes. All big sisters get a little bossy (or maybe a lot). All little sisters want to be the one in charge and don't like it that they're not, all oldest kids - no wait, Cooper is perfect, got nothing there. ha ha ha ha ha
Brian and I tell each other all the time that these kids BELONG in our family. We are a creative, performance, dramatic, musical family. All three of these kids love to sing, dance, play instruments and perform. Sunday night they were all in the church choir musical. They had been to choir rehearsals all of six times and they got on that stage and sang out with confidence. It was amazing to me. There were probably 500 people in the audience and they weren't fazed one bit. They see me and Brian and Cooper and Gatlin up on stage and I guess it just seems normal to them. Bennet said to me a couple days ago, "Mom, I want to be an actress....not today, but when I am 11". Of course she does! I love it!!
And that's it right now, just pretty much routine stuff. Busy, busy life filled with a lot of laundry and a lot of love! (;